Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Write With Kids

A year ago today, I abruptly stopped editing my Nanowrimo novel to participate in the miracle of having my insides cut open to yank out a tiny human. My writing hiatus ends now, and since this is my third child, I've got a plan for how to jump back into writing.

Happy birthday, Linden! Mommy's running off to live with the squirrels! Enjoy your cupcakes.

How to Write with Children:
1. Leave out snacks. Kids like candy, cupcakes, and chips. Remember that tiny humans are still very short (especially if they are MY tiny humans), so you may as well leave the food out in bowls on the floor.

2. Pretend to be deaf. What? I can't hear you! I'm sure that Jimmy can patch his eye by himself. This is how you learn not to hit each other, children.

3. Everything is closed. The other stores heard that Chick-fil-a is closed on Sundays and they got jealous. Marbles, jump houses, and everything else is closed for the rest of the winter.

4. Remove all the clocks. Your kids don't need to know that you are putting them to bed an hour early, and since you're deaf, you can't hear that they need a drink of water after the lights are out. See someone fighting in the middle of the day? Oh, must be nap time! Again!

5. Supply books and DVDs, preferably ones that teach children how to get dressed, make a sandwich, pour milk, mop up milk, vacuum up chips, brush their teeth, nap, apologize for hitting Jimmy, and first aid.

6. Get a babysitter. HAHAHA! (Wait. Do you know one that takes cupcakes as payment?)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Review: "Hunters Unlucky" by Abigail Hilton

"Hunters Unlucky" by Abigail Hilton is a moving, exquisitely complex epic fantasy about a long and bloody feud between the dominant talking animal species of Lidian, the deer-like ferryshaft and the lion-like creasia.

Hilton's deep, personal characters, meticulous species and setting development, and continually evolving plot pulls the reader along in constant suspense. This is one of those rare tales that has you constantly telling yourself "just one more chapter" until the beautifully orchestrated ending, 214 thousand words later.

"Hunters Unlucky" is just one of many highly engaging fantasy stories that I've read or listen to by Abigail Hilton. Visit her website at to find out more about the author and her works, which appear in both text and audio formats.

The sales copy says it well for "Hunter's Unlucky":

He's not bigger. He's not faster. He's not meaner. So he'd better be smarter.

Storm is born into a world of secrets – an island no one visits, names no one will say, and deaths that no one will talk about. The answers are locked in his species' troubled past, guarded by the fierce creasia cats. But when Storm's friends are threatened, he decides that he must act, pitting himself against the creasia to show that they can be resisted and outwitted. To prove his point, he must stay one step ahead of clever hunters, who have more to lose than Storm imagines.

Hunters Unlucky is an animal story for anyone who loved Richard Adams's Watership Down, Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, and Jack London's Call of the Wild. Kids who enjoyed Erin Hunter's Warriors books will also enjoy Hunters. The animals in this story do not carry swords, walk on two legs, or drink tea. They fight. They starve. Sometimes, they eat each other.

This 214,000-word novel is DRM-free and carefully formatted.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tangent Online Recommended Reading List 2014

Here is the recommended reading list from review site Tangent Online. I'm seeing a lot of familiar names, and, of course, some that I recommended:

Tangent Online, 2014 Recommended Reading

Shout outs:

Cory Doctorow:
"Huxleyed Into the Full Orwell" by Cory Doctorow (Terraform, 11/17/14) SF** (CDL)

Stephen Baxter:
"The Lingering Joy" by Stephen Baxter (Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds, 4/14) SF (DT)

Juliette Wade:
"Suteta Mono de wa Nai" by Juliette Wade (Clarkesworld #90, 3/14) F** (MR)

Sarah Pinkster:
"Notes To My Past And/Or Alternate Selves" by Sarah Pinsker (UFO 3, 10/14) SF (CDL, WH)
"The Transdimensional Horsemaster Rabbis of Mpumalanga Province" by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, 2/14) SF* (MR)
"No Lonely Seafarer" by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed #52, 9/14) F* (RH)

Nathaniel Lee:
"Stonebones" by Nathaniel Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #142, 3-6/14) F** (SB)
"Why I Bought Satan Two Cokes On the Day I Graduated From High School" by Nathaniel Lee (UFO 3, 10/14) SF*** (WH)

Alex Shvartsman:
"The Fiddle Game" by Alex Shvartsman (IGMS #41, 9-10/14) F (CW)
"The Golem of Deneb Seven" by Alex Shvartsman (IGMS #40, 7-8/14) SF* (HB)
"Fate and Other Variables" by Alex Shvartsman (Galaxy's Edge #11, 11-12/14) SF (MR)

Unidentified Funny Objects 3, edited by Alex Shvartsman:
"The Right Answer" by James A. Miller (UFO 3, 10/14) SF* (CDL, WH)
"That Must Be Them Now" by Karen Haber (UFO 3, 10/14) F* (CDL)
"Live At The Scene" by Gini Koch (UFO 3, 10/14) SF* (CDL, WH)
"Picture Perfect" by Matt Mikalatos (UFO 3, 10/14) SF** (WH)
"Into The Woods, With Zombunny" by Camille Griep (UFO 3, 10/14) F/H** (CDL)
"The Full Lazenby" by Jeremy Butler (UFO 3, 10/14) SF** (CDL, WH)
"The Door-To-Door Salesthing From Planet X" by John Vogt (UFO 3, 10/14) SF** (CDL, WH)
"The Newboy’s Last Stand" by Krystal Claxton (UFO 3, 10/14) F*** (CDL)
"The Real And The Really Real" by Tim Pratt (UFO 3, 10/14) SF*** (CDL, WH)
"The Fate Worse Than Death" by Kevin J. Anderson and Guy Anthony De Marco (UFO 3, 10/14) F*** (CDL, WH)

(More) Stories that I reviewed:

"The Inked Many" by Adam Callaway (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #150, 6/14) F (MR)
"No Sweeter Art" by Tony Pi (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #155, 9-4/14) F (MR)
"Zombies at Work" by Leena Likitalo (Galaxy's Edge #11, 11-12/14) SF (MR)
"Elsa's Spheres" by Marina J. Lostetter (IGMS #37, 1-2/14) SF* (MR)
"Extinct Fauna of the High Malafan" by Alter S. Reiss (IGMS #38, 3-4/14) F* (MR)
"Pocket Full of Mumbles" by Tina Gower (Galaxy's Edge #8, 5-6/14) F* (MR)
"Voices in the Black" by Jeff Stehman (Penumbra #34, 7/14) SF* (MR)
"Song of the Sargasso" by Marina J. Lostetter (Galaxy's Edge #11, 11-12/14) SF* (MR)
"The Burden of Triumph" by Samuel Marzioli (IGMS #42, 11-12/14) SF* (MR)
"Neep" by K. C. Norton (Galaxy's Edge #10, 9/14) SF** (MR)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: "Edgelanders" by Jennifer Melzer

In “Edgelanders” by JenniferMelzer, Lorelei is thrust out of her sheltered palace life by an arranged marriage that quickly turns into a run for her life. When she crosses the border into the Edgelands, her only thought is to escape the hounds out for her blood, but what she finds is a deep connection to the werewolf Edgelanders, their stag god, and their future. For one thing, her heart is bound by magic to Mad Finn the Reckless, a werewolf who lives up to his nickname, and whom the prophesies describe as her mate.

As a princess, Lorelei never expected marriage to be a choice, but she held on to the thin hope that love would blossom later. Now her expectations are being turned inside out as she discovers a magic bond between her soul and another. How much of love is really a choice when your hearts beat as one? If Lorelei wants to give in to love, she must find the strength to trust again after betrayal has made her heart skittish.

The betrayals started before Lorelei was even born, and now that the lies are beginning to unravel, she finds herself launched on a quest of self-discovery that will determine not only her own fate, but the fate of the mate she never asked for – oh, and let's not forget the fate of the world.

With intense themes of consent and trust, detailed mythologies, and powerful imagery,“Edgelanders”by Jennifer Melzer is a gorgeous blend of epic fantasy and romance in what promises to be a riveting, heart-pumping series.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fiction Review Roundup Nov - March 2014

I've neglected to post on here since December. Between being very pregnant and then having the baby, and the whole family being sick with one thing after another, I've felt like I've barely kept my head above water. But then, looking back, I see that I've done a lot more than I thought since NaNoWriMo! Here goes:

Nov 03 - Unidentified Funny Objects 2 ed Alex Shvartsman
Dec 03 - Beneath Ceaseless Skies #135
Dec 30 - Tangent 2013 Recommended Reading List
Jan 03 - Into the Wilderness, by Mandy Hager
Jan 03 - Asimov's Feb
Jan 31 - Beneath Ceaseless Skies #138 & 139
Feb 01 - Toxic City Series by Tim Lebbon
Mar 01 - OSC Intergalactic Medicine Show #37

In addition to this, I also got a lot of editing done on my NaNoWriMo draft in the first half of January before Linden was born. I'll be shelving that kind of work for a while now until she lets me sleep more. I find nonfiction writing and flash length pieces to be a totally different animal and something I can work on while sleep deprived. The length means that I'm writing it and editing it and having it published in a short amount of time, which is immensely satisfying. I've gotten a lot faster at writing them, too.

In other writing news, the Inquisitr, a multi-site news aggregator, just hired me to write articles for them. You can see my profile and the articles I've written for them here. I'm pretty excited about trying something new and I'm enjoying it so far. It's like my birthday present to me! (My birthday is tomorrow.)